Patriots down region foe Lee-Scott at home, 3-1

Published 9:39 am Wednesday, March 7, 2012

For the majority of the Pike Liberal Arts School baseball game against Lee-Scott, defense was the deciding factor in the Patriots 3-1 home win.

After getting three quick outs in the top of the first, the Patriots put two runs on the board thanks to a hit by catcher Blake Floyd, who was thrown out at home plate on an attempted inside the park home run but managed to bring in two other runners.

But the strong offensive start grinded to a halt as both teams fell into a defensive slog that lasted the remainder of the game.

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The only break in the stalemate before the sixth inning was a lone Lee-Scott home run in the fourth inning that put the score at 2-1, which pitcher Nick McLaughlin would answer in the sixth with a homer of his own.

“We played a great defense,” Patriots head coach Butch Austin said. “Blake Floyd was great behind the plate and Nick McLaughlin got a late home run. I’m really proud of the kids and the program and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Lawson Stewart played a strong role on the mound, tossing a complete game with eight strikeouts.

The senior also played a big role in ending the game, with two strikeouts and allowing only one runner on base in the seventh inning.

“We had really great pitching tonight,” Austin said. “Before we went out in the seventh I asked Floyd what he thought of Nick’s pitching and he said he was getting the best he’d had so we left him to finish the game.”

While the defense proved a deciding factor in the Patriot win, the team had trouble getting an offense going after the initial push early on in the game.

With the exception of McLaughlin’s home run, the team was unable to hit anything bigger than a single, and even got hit with a double play when McLaughlin hit a line drive directly to the pitcher who then got another out at first.

For the most part though, the offense managed to get on base on several occasions and had few strikeouts.

“We missed a bunt or two and missed some signals,” Austin said. “But overall that was about it and you have to expect mistakes like that. We played as hard as we could play and had great pitching and were able to use that to beat them. Lee-Scott’s a good team, well coached and solid.”

The Patriots will get a few days rest before their next matchup, a Saturday double-header with Prattville Christian on March 10 at home.

The first game is set to begin at 1 p.m.